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California Innovation

At Dan Clark Audio we understand great products demand innovative technology and smart industrial design. When designing new products we look at every aspect of what makes a great headphone experience to ensure the headphones are as pleasant to wear as they are to listen to. After all, just as an uncomfortable seat can distract from a concert an uncomfortable headphone distracts from the music, and our goal is to deliver the music with maximum enjoyment and immersion. 

In addition to sound and comfort, delivering great value is also baked into our DNA: we base our prices on our manufacturing cost to ensure customers receive the most value for the money.

Bringing these design goals together, DC Audio has produced some of the most innovative technologies and striking designs in the market, truly advancing the state of the headphone art. 

V-Planar Technology

All of our ETHER and ÆON headphones utilize our patented (US patent 9,854,364) V-Planar™ technology. A conventional planar driver is assumed to move as a flat surface. In reality, this is not possible as the driver is inelastic and “locked” at the boundaries so the driver moves more as a bowed surface than a flat plane, as illustrated in Figure 1. Because the surface movement is non-linear maximum excursion occurs only at the center of the diaphragm, but V-Planar technology changes this.

We collaborated with Bruce Thigpen of Eminent Technology to develop V-Planar knurling. This technology deeply creases the diaphragm, allowing the flexibility required to fit larger motions for a deeper, truer musicality and a larger percentage of the driver moving as a flat surface rather than a parabola, which moves more air and allows a smaller driver to perform like a larger driving, reducing size and weight. The V-Planar driver allows expansion and contraction of sound without losing fidelity or stretching it too thin as illustrated in Figure 2, and has the additional benefit of reducing standing wave modalities on the driver diaphragm.

V-Planar is a great example of our California innovation to optimize performance without compromise. It’s not gnarly… it’s knurly! V-Planar can not only push more air at low frequencies, it also delivers better dynamics, high-end frequency response, and measurably lowers distortion for a truly authentic listening experience.


FIGURE 1: Conventional Driver Motion


FIGURE 2: V-Planar Driver Motion

V-Planar is a single-ended planar driver designed with California innovation to optimize performance without compromise. It’s not gnarly… it’s knurly! V-Planar can not only push more air at low frequencies, it also delivers better dynamics, high-end frequency response, and measurably lower distortion for a truly authentic listening experience.

TrueFlow Motor Optimization

Our ETHER Flow and ÆON Flow headphones include patented TrueFlow technology, US patent 10631098, which eliminates turbulence-inducing right-angles within a driver’s motor structure for reduced distortion, extended frequency response, and improved dynamics.

What is TrueFlow? All planar magnetic drivers utilize magnets in their motors. These magnets create hard right angles that audio waves must pass through, to their detriment. When sound waves are forced to travel around hard edges this creates diffraction effects (recall your high-school physics where waves hit objects) and also generates reflections that together add entropy (noise and data loss) to the audio wave, reducing detail retrieval and increasing distortion. Loss of information in the audio wave denies the listener the most authentic and organic music experience. We invented TrueFlow technology to directly address this issue.

Derived from our work on electrostatic stator design, TrueFlow technology fills in the area between magnets with a perforated material, eliminating hard right angles so the driver moves air through a flat, perforated surface instead of an array of magnets. The result is a nearly perfect acoustic structure that yields remarkable increases in resolution and dynamics, and extended frequency response.

Additional Patents and Technology


Dan Clark Audio also holds US patent D 855,579 for our pioneering titanium hingeless headband and ear coupler designs for AEON, ETHER and VOCE headphones. 

In addition, US patent 10,178,459 covering asymmetric multi-layer damping used in several of our products to improve system linearity and to precision tune the sound of the headphones. Dan Clark Audio also has a patent-pending claim 62/800,844 for our unique ETHER 2 ear pad mounting system. 

Finally, US patent 9,282,394 covers 3D printed double-walled cups for enhanced isolation and our variable inline bass tuning port for aligning bass output between channels in closed headphones.

Together these innovations blend into our uniquely ergonomic designs, putting the spirit of California innovation into every product we make.